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Drivers need to know rules of the road

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According to a recent report in the Times Picayune Louisiana drivers do not rank very high in their knowledge of highway traffic rules. The article indicates that Louisiana drivers, and women in particular, may not be pleased with the results of the latest GMAC National Drivers Test.

The test measured America’s driving IQ in all 50 states.

“Louisiana is 39th, where #1 is the best score,” says Scott Eckman, Chief Marketing Officer for GMAC Insurance Company.

In fact, many state motorists would not meet the basic requirements to get a driver’s license if they took the test today.

“Based on the ranking, probably a third of the drivers would have failed the test,” says Eckman.

And women fared worse than men.

“The average male scored an 80.2, the average female scored a 74,” Eckman says.

1 in 4 women failed the test (27.2 percent, versus 13.6 percent for male).

Although men score 6 percent better than women, Eckman says it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better drivers.

“But, if both are trying to follow the rules, my money’s on the person who knows the rules of the road.”

He says have you to know the rules before you can even try to obey them.

While Louisiana’s average score of 76.1 percent is above the passing grade of 70, it’s below the national average of 77.9 percent.

“If it makes you feel any better, in Brooklyn, New York…50 percent failed,” says Eckman.

Mississippi also fared worse than Louisiana, ranking 46th out of the 50 states.

Kansas had the highest state average, while Washington, D.C., was the lowest.

Older drivers, those 60 to 65, had the highest average score.

The average score of all drivers increased from 76.2 percent in 2010 to 77.9 percent this year, but results suggest that a great number of people on the road still lack basic driving knowledge, which can lead to dangerous driving habits.

Eighty-five percent could not identify the correct action to take when approaching a steady yellow traffic light, and only a quarter were aware of safe following distances.

Without critical driving comprehension, many drivers run the risk of increased accidents or near accidents, in which they often come to realize their lack of knowledge.

Nationwide, the test revealed that 1 in 5 drivers on the road today cannot meet the basic requirements to get a driver’s license, meaning that 36.9 million American drivers – roughly 18 percent – would not pass the written drivers test if taken today.”

Be aware that your failure to know and adhere to these basic rules of the road may create the necessary “reasonable suspicion” to allow a traffic stop by police. Often this routine stop for failure to follow basic rules of the road may lead to more serious problems, including the administration of a field sobriety test if there is any suspicion that the driver has been drinking.

If you are stopped and receive a ticket or ar arrested, give our Firm a call to protect your rights, your driving record and your driving privileges.

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About Gary Smith

Gary is a founding member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C. Gary represents clients whose cases involve maritime and admiralty law and litigation. In addition to practicing law, Gary serves as a State Senator in the Louisiana Senate.Gary Smith's Google+ Profile

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